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Monday, May 28, 2018, 16:31 (GMT+7)
Military domain in the Russian Presidential Address 2018

In his Presidential Address 2018, Russia President V. Putin covered a number of contents in which military domain was considered the most important one. This is also a matter of particular concern of the international community. Why?

President V. Putin delivers his Presidential Address 2108 (Photo: Sputnik)

Lack of strategic trust

The world has been in the threshold of a nuclear war for several times due to the misunderstanding between Russia and the U.S. – the two nuclear powers. In order to avoid it and maintain international security, since 1972, Russia (the Soviet) and the U.S. have signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). More recently, in 2010, the two countries signed the New START to further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. Accordingly, the amount of ballistic missiles of each party would be reduced to limited and equivalent number. These treaties have laid legal foundation for trust and prevention of using nuclear weapons carelessly, endangering the mankind. Though Russia and the U.S. have signed and adjusted the treaties, they are still in lack of strategic trust in each other. The evidences include: in 2002, the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, gathering its resources to develop nuclear weapons; strengthened the deployment of ballistic missile defence in several parts of the world; deployed forces close to Russia borders. All these actions have put the relations between Russia and the West (with the U.S. as the leader) in tension, opposing each other, particularly after the Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

To Russia, despite difficulties of its economy and industry, including defence industry, it has stepped up the development of modern weapons. Recently, in his Presidential Address, Russia President V. Putin introduced a number of new weapons, causing concern for the U.S. and the West.

On the other hand, the U.S. President Donald Trump started an ambitious plan to make America great again by modernizing strategic and tactical weapons and ready to use forces to address “hot spots” in the world.

In short, due to the lack of strategic trust, the two nuclear powers have always been “on a race”, putting the world community at risk of being destroyed if a war breaks out between the two countries.

Strive to have a stronger voice in international arena.

Russia is the only Soviet republic state to be internationally recognized as the legal succession of the Soviet Union, but in reality they did not inherit that status in the international arena. Therefore, the U.S. seems not to pay attention to what Russia says and does. It gives itself the superior position in solving all international issues, without taking care of Russia’s role. The Kosovo war was an evidence. It was launched by the U.S. and Western countries in order to show their strength, the unique major power of the U.S.; testing its new political and military theories as well as new weapons; contain and weaken Russia’s influence in Balkan region; strengthen NATO; apply the U.S. standards and values in Europe; and consolidate Western Europe countries influence.

In order to regain its major power position, under the leadership of President V. Putin, Russia has mobilized all resources for economic development and political stability, focusing on defence industry and military modernization. As a result, only in a short time, it has recorded significant achievements, namely: high economic growth, increased national reserves, political stability, and the deployment of new weapons and equipment for the armed forces. What Russia has done in Syria is a proof. Russia publicly protects Syria President Bashar al-Assad Regime; suggesting Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons; deploying forces and weapons to Syria at the request of Bashar al-Assad government and supporting it to eliminate Islamic State (IS). By doing this, the U.S. could no longer deny Russia’s role in the international arena. Moreover, in the Presidential Address 2018, President V. Putin introduced a series of modern and new weapons, particularly the strategic ones that had been successfully tested. This is an important factor – the “key” to force its adversaries to listen to it and sit on a table to find solutions for international issues. He announced that: “It is actually surprising that despite all the problems with the economy, finances and the defence industry, Russia has remained a major nuclear power. No, nobody really wanted to talk to us about the core of the problem, and nobody wanted to listen to us. So listen now”.

Weapons introduced by Russia President in his Presidential Address imbedded a warning to the deployment of global missile defence system, and the consolidation of infrastructure near Russia borders by NATO and Western countries. They are also the foundation for diplomats and military personnel to bargain with and force their partners to listen to Russia’s viewpoints on international issues.

At the same time, Russia has been active in participating international organizations; stepping up the foundation of alliances, economic, political and military organizations, such as: Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS). In addition, it has strengthened the agenda at the United Nation, G20 and APEC, gradually retaking its super power position and Russia’s values in the international arena.

Mobilizing efforts in science and technology development

Russia President V. Putin reaffirmed, in order to develop science and technology to meet the defence and military requirements in the new situation, first investment should be primarily used for upgrading infrastructure of modern technological industries, equipped with available devices for basic, advanced and ahead research. In recent years, Russia has vigorously invested in consolidating institutes and research centers; developing basic science potentials; orientating major defence projects… To meet the demand of advanced and new-aspect research, the Russian National Council for Science and Education decided to develop powerful and new generation accelerator in order to make sure that scientific centers are modern, practical and effective research facilities, which can meet the demand of in depth and ahead technological research. Recently, Russia has implemented incentive policies and favorable mechanisms to attract thousands of experts, scientists, designers, talented designers, and skillful and enthusiastic workers to work in the research centers and scientific institutes.

At the same time, it has launched special favorable policy to the youth – the huge, active, and easily adapted forces which can meet the development of the fourth industrial revolution (4.0). In return, the Russia’s youth generation has proved themselves their vanguard role in science and other aspects. In 2017, at the international Olympic completions, Russian students received 38 medals with high achievements on natural science, robot and programmed subjects…. Moreover, Russia has had policies to attract talented overseas students to study and do research at their universities. The talented students are provided chances to work in Russia. Russian government considers them the ‘red’ seeds to develop its science and technology.

Active in manufacturing new generation and modern weapons

After the collapse of the Soviet, Russia was in a difficult situation: civil war in Caucasus, the ‘big holes’ in the early warning radar system deployed along the border lines, the shortcomings of the armed forces with reduced number of professional service members; the out-of-date weapons and equipment…. Meanwhile, the operation of uranium enrichment facilities was supervised by the U.S. observers. In short, the Russian Armed Forces at that time were inefficient, and almost unable to maintain national security and territorial sovereignty.

In order to regain its position, Russia immediately focused on modernizing the armed forces, consolidating defence industry. As a result, only a decade later, Russia armed forces have become a modern and powerful force with the capability to fight in all 05 domains (the air, the sea, the land, the space, and cyberspace). The operation in Syria has proved the increased capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces with improvements in all the army, navy and air force. In detail, the number of professional service members increased 2.4 times; modern weapons increased 3.7 times with over 300 new units of equipment were put into service, 80 new intercontinental ballistic missiles, more than 100 submarine launched ballistic missiles, 03 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (Bore class), twelve Yars-missile regiments. The number of long-range high-precision weapons carriers has increased by 12 times, while the number of guided cruise missiles increased by over 30 times. The availability of equipment grew from 70 percent to 95-100 percent.

In addition, in his Address, President V. Putin also released new, modern weapons, particularly the strategic and nuclear ones which have been equipped to the armed forces. These include: intercontinental missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles. Furthermore, Russia has developed unmanned submersible vehicles that can move at great depths and laze weapons.

There have been doubts about Russia’s super weapons, but some of them have been tested and deployed since 1968 during the Soviet time.

In short, Russia’s Presidential Address 2018 showed a comprehensively vigorous development in defence and military aspect, particularly in weapons and equipment. Therefore, Russian people are confident about their armed forces capability to protect national security and peace, stability and security in the world.

Sr. Col. Do Hai Au

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